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Training

If this is your first JDRF Ride or your fifteenth, JDRF has the resources to help you train for whatever distance you plan on riding. Some cyclists ride 30 miles while others ride 100. From the day you register until your Ride Day, your local chapter, fellow JDRF riders and the JDRF team of coaches will help you achieve your goals!

Coaches

I've seen and experienced more moments of out-n-out magic at Ride Weekends than the rest of my life combined. This is an amazing, powerful, life-altering & life-affirming thing!
-Mike Clark, National Head Coach

JDRF partners with USA Cycling to certify all of our coaches, from our National head coaches through every local coach. Our expert coaches ensure each rider turns into a better cyclist.

Our coaches will help you set realistic goals, organize group rides, monitor your progress and provide clinics on everything from buying your first bike to how to change a flat tire.

Every year, hundreds of riders go distances they never thought possible. Register for a JDRF Ride and discover what you can accomplish.

To learn more about our coaches, email ride@jdrf.org.

Training tips

I find great fulfillment in helping others overcome internal challenges and accomplish goals that they thought out of reach.
–Tom Kissinger, JDRF Ride Coach

JDRF has a series of tools and resources that will help you reach your cycling goals. Once you register, you'll have access to:

  • Training Rides
  • A JDRF Coach (either local or National)
  • Ride newsletters with fundraising tips and best practices
  • Customizable training plans for your distance goal

These are just a few of the tools we offer. If you'd like to learn more about our training resources, email ride@jdrf.org.

Training FAQ

What type of bike do I need to do a JDRF Ride?

The simple answer is any bike that is comfortable and that is in good operating condition. When doing a JDRF ride, these are not races. These are charity rides with the objective being to complete a distance that you select.

Most people use a road bike, which is a fairly lightweight bike with narrow tires and anywhere from 18 to 27 gears, but some people use hybrid bikes, which tend to be more upright and have upright handlebars. The best advice is to get a bike that fits you well and on which you feel comfortable sitting on and riding for several hours at a time.

100 miles is a long way to ride a bike. How can I possibly get myself in shape to ride that far?

The JDRF Ride to Cure is about the mission, not the miles, so there is no minimum length for any of our Rides. However, many people do complete the entire 100 mile course at each ride. Each rider will have the support of a coach who will help them train to reach and exceed whatever their mileage goal is.

What are some tips to help me be able to ride the distance and be comfortable doing so?

  1. Don't ride too fast! The objective is to complete the distance and typically if you can ride at least 10-11 miles per hour steadily, you will be able to complete the 100 mile distance.
  2. Be sure to stay hydrated during your ride. You should take a sip from your water bottle often while riding, every 10-15 minutes at least, even if you don't feel thirsty. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated and it may become difficult to make up for lost water at that point.
  3. Stay fueled for the ride. Cycling requires a lot of energy, and you will need to keep eating during the ride to have enough energy to keep going strongly. Sports drinks, such as Gatorade, energy bars and gels, fruit and other easy-to-digest foods that are easy to eat and keep you fueled. And the JDRF Rides are famous for well-stocked aid stations along the way.
  4. Train and ride with a friend. There are two very good reasons to ride with a friend: It's safer and it's more fun! When you are out riding, it's always a good idea to ride with someone else. If anything should happen such as a flat tire, it's always better to have someone along to help. It is also more enjoyable to ride with others.

How often should I be riding?

The number one way to get better at riding a bike is by riding a bike. Your coach will help you set your mileage goal and will create a plan that will help you reach it.

How many miles should I ride in training for the Ride to Cure?

  1. Your longest training ride should be 75-80% of the distance of your ride goal. Why not 100%? That's because if you can ride 80%, or 80 miles if you are aiming for a century ride at a JDRF Ride, then you should be able to make it the last 20. In training, people typically get the ride over much quicker than at the JDRF Ride, because we all have other things to do at home on weekends. Remember, at the Ride to Cure you have all day (almost) to ride the distance. Now that doesn't give you permission to dawdle and spend a half hour at aid stations, but if you pedal along averaging 11 MPH, you should be able to make the distance even if you haven't trained that much.
  2. Your weekly mileage should equal or exceed the number of miles you plan to ride at the JDRF Ride. So if you are planning to ride 100 miles at your JDRF Ride, then your weekly mileage should average 100 or more miles. All miles count and accumulate as far as your body is concerned. If you can consistently put in 100 miles a week in the final few weeks approaching your Ride to Cure, you will be fine. So 5 days of 20 miles will work if that's all you can manage. However, you should still be working your way up to a progressively longer ride each week, as described in #1 above.

What's the best piece of advice you can give me as a first time rider?

Allow the JDRF Ride to change your life. There are many riders who start out doing the Ride as a fundraiser or because a friend or family member was recently diagnosed, and then discovered that they really enjoyed bike riding, and have kept it up year after year. You can use the JDRF Ride experience to change your life and become more active, more fit, lose weight if you need to, and become healthier.


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